A library exists to meet the needs of the community which it serves. Let us know how the Oley Valley Community Library may help support a safe and engaged community where imagination and opportuni…
Source: Library Resources
On Tuesday May 20th, 2014 the Oley Township Primary Election ballot included a referendum on the question of community support for the Oley Valley Community Library. Voters were asked to approve a…
Source: Say YES
No experience necessary! Want to make something special? Go to Eliza’s store, “All Things Ewesful”, on Rt. 73 at the blinking light in Oley. Mention the library and get a discount!
Oley Valley Community Library is hosting this project’s next poetry reading on saturday, september 17 @ 1 p.m. residents donald gilbert & john groff of Earl Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania will be special guests. gilbert served as the head colorist of bally ribbon mills for several decades, and one of groff’s jobs was at windmill cheese co. in Oley Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. the Oley Valley Community Fair fair is also this same weekend. so you can visit the fair & this reading all in one afternoon. please RSVP if you can attend, due to limited seating. & please also consider bringing monetary donations for this library, since it operates independently on its own in the community.
Oley Library and Friedens UCC has partnered to bring you an award winning program. Many older adults experience concerns about falling and restrict their activities. A MATTER OF BALANCE is designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. You will learn to view falls as controllable, set goals for increasing activity, make changes to reduce fall risks at home, and exercise to increase strength and balance. This is a two hour, weekly class taking place every Wednesday beginning August 24th and ending October 12th. Program is FREE AND SEATING IS LIMITED!
Oley Library and Friedens UCC has partnered to bring you an award winning program. Many older adults experience concerns about falling and restrict their activities. A MATTER OF BALANCE is designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. You will learn to view falls as controllable, set goals for increasing activity, make changes to reduce fall risks at home, and exercise to increase strength and balance.
This is a two hour, weekly class taking place every Wednesday beginning August 24th and ending October 12th.
Program is FREE AND SEATING IS LIMITED. Event to take place in Weidner Hall. Registration is required. Call to register 610-374-3195 ext. 224 or MSitler@BerksEncore.org
Kids, get those punch cards in! Bella’s will be honoring them until the end of the month. And again, thanks so much to Bella Italia for rewarding all our summer readers with free pizza! Special thanks also goes to Friedens UCC and Dr. Wolcott for sponsoring the Oley Valley Community Library Summer Reading Program!
Colson Whitehead’s brilliant, multifaceted new novel about race, resistance and — perhaps — reconciliation is called “The Underground Railroad,” and the title is rich with meaning. Historically, the Underground Railroad was a network of safe houses and secret passageways that enabled African-American slaves to flee north to free states from the antebellum South. Abolitionists, whites or free blacks (like Harriet Tubman), acted as “conductors” and “station agents” along the way, risking their own freedom, and sometimes their lives, to help the fugitives.
Whitehead’s title embraces the traditional metaphoric meaning of the term in the title, but, in an initially jarring slide from horrific naturalism into magic realism, the author also presents us with an actual railroad running underground, in tunnels beneath the eastern third of the United States, bound for freedom.
The novel is the saga of one traveler on the railroad, a young runaway slave named Cora fleeing a cotton plantation in the swamps of eastern Georgia. The novel is set some years before the Civil War.
The rapes and whippings Cora suffers give plenty of reason to flee the plantation, owned by two dissolute brothers, and once gone she cannot return — what Cora faces if caught is detailed by Whitehead in the case of a male runaway, who is caught and dragged back to the plantation, where he is whipped for days, castrated and set on fire. Whitehead doesn’t hesitate to graphically indict the horrors of slavery, but he is a skillful writer who can evoke even more horror by describing the superficially ordinary — like the cruel variety of chains and mantraps hanging in a barn that hides a doorway to the underground railroad. He writes:
“Thousands of them dangled off the walls on nails in a morbid inventory of manacles and fetters, of shackles for ankles and wrists and necks. … Shackles to prevent a person from absconding, from moving their hands, to suspend a body in the air for a beating. One row was devoted to children’s chains. …”
Entry to the railroad is through a trapdoor in the barn floor, and below it stairs lead to a small platform. The tunnel, Cora astonishingly narrates, “must have been twenty feet tall, walls lined with dark and light colored stones in an alternating pattern. … Two steel rails ran the visible length of the tunnel. … The steel ran south and north …”
Trains come every few days, and Cora is led aboard one, a single boxcar pulled by a small locomotive, and begins a journey that will take her to both Carolinas, to Tennessee and Indiana and beyond. She is pursued by the professional slave catcher named Ridgeway, an almost mythologically evil monster (one of Whitehead’s previous novels, “Zone One,” was about zombies) who takes great delight in his work. Ridgeway travels with a sidekick who wears a necklace of severed ears.
Cora is caught by Ridgeway, escapes and continues her journey, and is caught again. And her journey continues.
Cora encounters cruelty and indifference even when she is not being physically harmed. In what seems like a parody of a white middle-class vision of decent treatment of a slave, in a superficially benign episode, she is put on display in a South Carolina museum where slavery is depicted as — literally — a walk in the park. The museum is disquieting, but beneath its facade of white fantasy, where blacks on slave ships are depicted as living like pampered cabin boys, hides something even worse — a path to genocide.
“The Underground Railroad” provides a rich tapestry of black life, mainly in the South, in antebellum days. And it contains pungent commentary on the relationships between the races in an America still divided. It is, among other things, a superb example of that American specialty, the road novel. And it is one of the best books in recent years about the effects of America’s original sin, slavery.
Summer Reading Closing Ceremony with special guest Miss Maggie! If you missed the grand opening, here’s your chance to meet Oley’s very own Miss Maggie!